Jameis Winston is used to putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform. The Buccaneers want their quarterback to relax a little.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers understand they will only go as far as quarterback Jameis Winston can take them. That doesn’t mean he needs to put all the pressure on his shoulders though. Instead, the Bucs coaching staff wants to see Winston dial his effort back a little this year.
New offensive coordinator Todd Monken wants to teach his signal caller that it is “OK to fail.” That doesn’t mean he wants Winston to make a habit of it. He just wants to make sure that Winston relaxes enough to let his natural talents and leadership abilities shine through.
Winston is coming off his best statistical season as a pro. The Buccaneers didn’t experience as much team success as they would’ve liked, but their quarterback set a career high for completion percentage with a mark of 63.8 percent. He also managed to lower his interception total from 18 in 2016 to 11 in 2017.
The interception statistic is a little misleading though. Winston’s attempts also experienced a sharp drop last season. Missing three games caused Winston to throw the ball over 100 fewer times last year. He still dropped his interception percentage by .7 percent.
Winston’s issues go deeper than the numbers though. When you watch the Buccaneers offense play it’s clear that he is the group’s unquestioned leader. Their skill position players feed off Winston’s positive energy. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, its performance also drops sharply when Winston loses his confidence out on the field.
Monken’s challenge will be to feed Winston more small wins this season. He loves to throw the ball down the field, but it would be in the team’s best interest to give him more easy completions. That will give Winston more confidence to build from. Getting some easy wins in the bank will better equip Winston with the inevitable mistakes any NFL quarterback is going to make.
If the Buccaneers want to improve this season they will need Winston to take a significant step forward. The team hopes that by allowing him to dial down his effort, it will pump up his results.